September 21st, 2021

How To Improve Workplace Culture By Practicing Gratitude

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Today is World Gratitude Day! This week’s blog post will be all about gratitude, but first: Thank you so much for being part of our Fabulous family. We really appreciate you. Let’s dive right into how to improve workplace culture by practicing gratitude.

A daily gratitude practice is a fabulous way to inject a little positivity into your life. Not only does counting your blessings help you feel better in the moment, practicing gratitude daily can have a positive effect on your overall wellness. But did you know that practicing gratitude can also help you relieve work-related stress and even make you more productive?

How Gratitude Improves Wellness

When you express gratitude for something, your body releases endorphins, which can help you feel calmer and happier right away.

But gratitude does more than make you feel better in the moment. Regularly practicing gratitude can reduce your perception of pain, improve your quality of sleep, boost your resilience during stressful moments, and help alleviate the symptoms of clinical anxiety and depression.

Practicing gratitude daily strengthens those neural pathways, ultimately making it easier to access those positive feelings and reap their benefits. It’s like the saying goes: “The neurons that fire together wire together.” The more you practice gratitude, the happier it makes you, because doing so literally alters the structure of your brain.

Think of it like the way you build muscle by repeatedly lifting heavy things. Your body adapts to be better at the tasks it repeatedly does. So, too, does your brain.

Practicing Gratitude At Work

What does gratitude do for the workplace, though? It turns out that a regular workplace gratitude practice has benefits for both individual workers and for the workplace itself.

First, gratitude improves individual performance. Think about it: when someone expresses their sincere appreciation for your work, it motivates you to work harder. You want to do right by the person who values your efforts. Genuine praise drives productivity.

But gratitude also improves performance metrics at the organizational level, too. Colleagues who regularly express gratitude for each other have stronger bonds. Those stronger bonds lead to a greater sense of self-efficacy and trust between colleagues, which leads to better communication and collaboration. Employees who feel appreciated also have higher levels of workplace satisfaction. They also engage more, which can lead to more fruitful discussions during meetings.

Simple Gratitude Exercises To Try

If you’re looking to bring a gratitude practice to your workplace to help with stress management and improve coworker relationships, we have a few suggestions on how to start:

  1. Start with yourself: A personal gratitude practice will make it easier to find things to appreciate at work. It works sort of like the Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon (a.k.a Frequency Illusion); once you start naming things you’re grateful for, you’ll start seeing things to be grateful for everywhere, even at work.
  2. Thank your coworkers: A simple “thank you” goes a long, long way. Feeling valued is one of our most basic and profound emotional needs as a species. So, next time you see a colleague in the breakroom, take a moment to let them know you appreciate them. If you’re working remotely, send out a quick email or Slack message. It might really make their day!
  3. Add gratitude to meetings: Block a few minutes out of weekly stand-ups or other meetings to sing the praises of your colleagues. It’s a quick and easy way to boost everyone’s mood and get people fired up to brainstorm and collaborate.
  4. Try the Fabulous Gratitude Live Challenge: Fabulous for Work users can organize live challenges for their organization. Our 7-Day Gratitude Challenge can be a great way to get everyone on board with the same mission while also adding a fun and friendly element of gamification and competition.

How else do you show gratitude in the workplace? We’d love to hear your ideas!